Editions two through 49 of Off-White’s “The 50” sneakers bear gray and white uppers, making the sneaker easy to style, or customize. To pay tribute to the latter, the brand has launched a series highlighting edits of its latest collaboration with Nike.
The focus on customs, which will take place on Virgil Abloh’s commemorative arch___itecture platform, kicks off with an Off-White Nike Dunk (edition 5/50) reworked by sneaker enthusiast @iwearsnkrs. Hand-dyed to sport a bold orange tone, the shoes are now one-of-a-kind, playing on the Dunk’s initial exclusivity. “Didn’t get exclusive access but ended up with an exclusive pair,” @iwearsnkrs captioned a post showing off the sneakers. He also notes that the orange shade of the shoes was inspired by a Nike hat he previously thrifted.
It’s all for Abloh — Encouraging other fans to make their own edits, Off-White asked its consumers to send submissions of their own altered “The 50” Nike Dunk Low by tagging #offwhitedunkedit. Select creations will be reposted in the near future, the brand claimed.
Yet the exclusivity of Off-White models pushes many consumers to never wear the sneakers, let alone modify them. After interacting with Nike’s SNKRS app to gain exclusive access, paying a near-$200 price for the sneakers, and navigating delivery problems and theft, many who own one of “The 50” Dunks are relishing their work — or raking in major profit on resale sites.
Still, there are Off-White fans who will attempt to edit their sneakers in a bid to catch Abloh’s attention. Many who indulge in the brand’s designs do so because of its name and exclusivity, meaning a repost from Abloh may be worth more than keeping their shoes in original condition.
Canceling customs — While Off-White encourages customs, Nike has recently done everything to stop them. Whether the personalized sneaker is considered a bootleg, custom, or homage, the Swoosh is suing anyone who comes close to the likeness of its Air Force 1 and Dunk: Where does Off-White’s custom initiative fit in?
Seeing as Nike has already profited from the drop of “The 50” and the Off-White edits won’t be for sale, the company seemingly doesn’t care. One of its biggest lawsuit motivators — other than protecting its copyrighted designs — is money, and here, there’s none to be made. As soon as a customizer decides to sell their altered Off-White x Nike Dunk, however, the Swoosh will likely step in and squash the sale.